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8 Key Themes at Corporate Innovation Summit 2019

Corporate innovation is not just about bringing big conglomerates or multinational corporations (MNCs) to the innovation circle, but it pretty much involves every other player in the ecosystem. Big corporates can’t stand on their own, which is why they’ve been outsourcing external accelerator programs, building their own in-house innovation labs, working closely with startups or sourcing corporate venture capital (CVCs). So, what exactly is corporate innovation? Let's find out in our 8 key themes from #CIS2019

The 8 key themes at Corporate Innovation Summit 2019

When people first heard the word “innovation”, they often associate that with creativity or individual skills. Little did they realize that innovation does not exist purely through creativity or having an Einstein within an organization, but rather, it is about the whole unity of an organization. Here, we have categorized corporate innovation into 8 separate themes, of which you will get to fully experience each aspect immensely at Corporate Innovation Summit 2019.

Key theme 1: Skillset and Mindset Transformation

In any set of working environment, whether it is in startups or big companies, the people are one of the most crucial driving forces that determines the success of the organization. With people comes mindset and skillset. More often than not, mindset of the employees constructively form through company culture and the rest of the organization’s work ethics. In order to transform the traditional approach and the minds of the employees, leaders of those organizations have to be first to change. Ultimately, mindset transformation is about redesigning the company capacity through innovative strategy. On the other hand, skillset is about equipping the people with the right hard-skill and soft-skills, both technical and non-technical, to create innovation. Some of the crucial skillsets that you can learn at Corporate Innovation Summit 2019 are Design Thinking, Innovation Leadership skill, Pitching & Communication, and Hacking 4 Defence (

Key theme 2: Corporate Venture Capital (CVC)

In 2017, global private equity and venture capital financing grew by 11.5 %, reaching US$568.9 billion that year. While North America still leads the share of global private equity and venture financing with 48.4% of the global share, investments into Asia grew by 37.6%, reaching US$158.4 and making up 27.8% of the global investments, surpassing Europe for the first time.

Investments into startups more than doubled to US$8 billion in 2018. People often think of venture capitalists or angel investors when it comes to startup funding, but the main driver was not anyone else but the large corporates, which also grew more than 2.5 times from co-investing or even leading investments into several notable deals. In 2017, corporate investment took up 7 out of top 10 deals by size in Southeast Asia. Examples include investments into Grab by Didi Chuxing and Softbank, GoJek by KKR, Warburg Pincus, Google, Temasek Holdings, Meituan-Dianping, Tencent and, and Tokopedia by Alibaba. That very year certainly marked a significant step-up in investments by overseas corporates looking into expanding to Southeast Asia.

Why is it important for corporates to work with startups? Many corporates in Asia are starting their own CVC to invest in promising startups that they can work together with to help both sides succeed. Startups have been outperforming corporates in many ways: startups are better risk-takers and are good at grasping business opportunities while corporates tend to be more reserved in that sense. Allocating a portion of capital aside to invest in a corporate venture arm is one of the popular key trends many corporates are heading toward. How do they do it? This CVC-themed workshops will show you how.

Highlighted workshops:

Venture Capital 101

Disrupting Outside-in

Measuring Success in Corporate Startup Engagement

Fireside Chat: Running a Unicorn Farm

Keynote: Disrupting Inside-Out vs. Outside-In


Kuan Hsu (KK Fund)

Linda Yates (MACH 49)

Varun Jain (Qualcomm Ventures)

Arnaud Bonzom (INSEAD)

Paul Holland (Foundation Capital)

Key theme 3: Corporate Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship inside of established organizations is called Corporate Entrepreneurship or Intrapreneurship. All companies want organic growth but only few organizations have the process in place to support and sustain that growth over time. Given that innovation process alone is not enough, organizations need to build a framework to support innovation and new business growth. Under this topic, you’ll get to intensively work on Business Model Canvas and value proposition designed by Alex Osterwalder.

Highlighted workshop:

Competing with Business Model Canvas & Value Proposition Design

Fireside Chat:

How MUFG Drive Corporate Innovation

The Future of Retail Industry in SEA

Silicon Valley Bank

Keynote: Lesson Learned From X (Google X)


Alexander Osterwalder (Inventor of Business Model Canvas)

Makoto Shibata (MUFG)

Noon Hutasuwan (Snapcart)

Tuan Pham (Silicon Valley Bank)

Emi Kolawole (Google X)

Key theme 4: M&A and Beyond

At this age of digital transformation, even big corporates which are competitors are forced to work with one another to accelerate the progress in the ecosystem. This key trend will discuss about harnessing innovation through strategic M&A. One keynote you should not miss is “Harnessing Innovation Through Strategic M&A” by Ariya Banomyoung from LINE Thailand.

Key theme 5: Government and Policy

Often overlooked, the government and policy makers play a significant role in setting the direction for both the public and private sector in transforming their organizations. Changing is not an easy work, but it is necessary and can be catalyzed by the government. At this workshop, you will better understand the role of governments and their policy that is driving and supporting innovation within their countries. Expect to meet Thai representatives from TCEB, NIA, DEPA, and DITP and International representatives from MAGIC, GCCEI, Budding Innovation and Saigon Innovation Hub. An interesting panel discussion you shouldn’t miss would be “Asian Governments and their roles in the innovation ecosystems”, with Enterprise SG, MDEC, DEPA, Austrade as panelists.

Key theme 6: Deep Technology

Another exciting area of interest for corporates is investing in deep tech that includes but not limited to artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT). In the age of big data, data and information will only be useful when they provide valuable insights. In order to make use of those data, we need AI. AI is relevant to all industries in the market and is predicted to drive profitability significantly. According to our research, industries like education, accommodation, construction, healthcare and agriculture are forecasted to experience over 50% profit growth by 2035.

It is about bringing advanced technology to add value towards corporates in emerging markets like Southeast Asia. While disruption is the key trend in the West, here in Asia it is still about the effort to focus more on automation and adoption of machine learning and AI. Economic Singularity is the future of corporate innovation and this area of focus will discuss on how corporates and governments should prepare for economic singularity.

Highlighted keynote:

Emulate Bio: Potential of Organ-on a chip

Digital: The Future of Everything

Fireside Chat:

What is Economic Singularity?

Deep Tech Commercialization


Geraldine Hamilton (Emulate Bio)

Robert Wolcott (Kellogg Innovation Network)

Peng T. Ong (Monk’s Hill Ventures)

Bert Grobben (Budding Innovation)

Key theme 7: Innovation and Creativity

Adapt or die - As technology and the world are changing and progressing faster than ever, corporates have to stay ahead of the game through innovation and creativity, the two elements that allow organizations to find new ways to operate their businesses. Workshops and fireside chat of this theme will feature how unicorns adopt innovation process and how they cultivate innovation and creativity internally within their organizations. Visual thinking, gamification, open innovation are all part of the process. Some topics include the global engagement crisis, things that drive human motivation and open innovation. If you want to learn from those successful and disruptive startup founders, this theme is something for you.

Highlighted workshops:

The Innovation Matrix

Visual Innovation



Visual Innovation


Opportunities & Demand for Open Innovation


Key theme 8: Corporate Accelerator

Last but not least, collaboration between corporates and startups to drive innovation must be a win-win co-creation. Not every corporates have their own CVCs, which is why a corporate accelerator can step in to help connect those big companies with innovative startups, eventually bringing them towards a joint venture. This way, corporates can learn from startups, adopt the “lean” startup culture, be more tech-driven and hence more innovative. Likewise, startups also can gain access to wider market landscape and potential corporate partners. Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss the pitch competition at CIS 2019!

Highlighted workshop:

How to Evaluation Startup Pitches

Pitch Competition:

Enterprises and B2B track

Deep Technology track (AI, Big Data and Blockchain)

All these 8 key themes will be covered in the many workshops, keynotes, and panel discussion in Corporate Innovation Summit 2019. Come and make the most out of this conference!

Author: Vanessa Techapichetvanich